Re: Which aircraft will the meat pilot use?
A10 v F35, this is a sprinter v decathlete situation, we know who’s likely to win each event before they start. A10s were built for a single purpose, close support, specifically chewing up 1980s Soviet armoured formations in Germany, with the ability to return home having received multiple hit from the AAA systems among those formations, any other task is well outside its comfort zone. The design was heavily influenced by the close support environment during the Vietnam war where it was discovered that fast jets are often too fast to target accurately when the enemy is up close.
Modern weapon systems bring the F35 near to the A10 in terms of close support ability (only ‘near’, not as good), but interestingly, the air force are in the process of re-winging the A10 fleet to provide another 20 years of service (first in service 1977) so it’s clear they’d prefer to keep both for the tasks they’re really are suited to.
The drones that have been employed up to now on military tasks are generally designed for cheap loitering high over a target area against an adversary without any real anti-aircraft capability. Pilot fatigue is real problem in these operations while drones can have their remote controllers literally change shift in flight.
The USAF has been converting actual fighters into remote pilot drones for decades (QF-16 currently) to give pilots dogfight experience ending in a real shot down (the drone doesn't get to shoot), using automatic flight control instead of a remote meatbag here is a fairly easy replacement.
With an AI system acting as the RPV pilot, any experience gained won’t be lost with the airframe just like the Star-Trek Borg, hence the Skyborg tag.